Jeremiah 36:21
So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) So the king sent Jehudi . . .—The prudence ci the counsellors was foiled by the king’s impatience. He was not satisfied with hearing a general report. He would have the words themselves.

36:20-32 Those who despise the word of God, will soon show, as this king did, that they hate it; and, like him, they would wish it destroyed. See what enmity there is against God in the carnal mind, and wonder at his patience. The princes showed some concern, till they saw how light the king made of it. Beware of making light of God's word!The court - i. e., The inner quadrangle of the palace, in which was the royal residence.

They laid up the roll - They left the scroll in charge, i. e., in the care of someone.

21. sent Jehudi—Note how unbelievers flee from God, and yet seek Him through some kind of involuntary impulse [Calvin]. Jehudi seems to have been the king's ready tool for evil. It appeareth by Jeremiah 36:14 that this

Jehudi was a messenger commonly employed by the king and council; him the king sends

to fetch the roll, ( before called a book,) then he employeth him to read it. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll,.... The same person the princes sent to Baruch to come to them, and bring the roll with him, Jeremiah 36:14. This the king did, out of curiosity, and to satisfy himself of the truth of what the princes said; and by this it appears they had told him of the roll, which contained what they had given him a summary of, and where it was:

and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber; or, "out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe"; who knew where it was, being present at the reading of it in the secretary's office, and saw where it was laid; or, however, was directed by the secretary where it was, and might have the key of the chest or scrutoire given him in which it was laid:

and Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes that stood by the king: as he doubtless was ordered; and which he did so loudly, clearly, and distinctly, that the king and all the princes could hear; which princes were those who had heard it before, and were come to the king to acquaint him with the substance of it; and who stood by the side of the king, or about him, in honour to him; though there might be also others besides them, who were before with the king, and waiting on him; and Abarbinel thinks that other princes distinct from those that went to the king are meant. When it is said that Jehudi read the roll in the hearing of the king and princes, it mast be understood of a part of it only, and not the whole; as Jeremiah 36:23 shows.

So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21–26. See introd. summary to the ch.Verse 21. - Which stood beside the king; literally,...above the king. The standing courtiers, of course, rose above the king; comp. Isaiah 6:2, "Seraphim stood above him." When Baruch came, the princes, in token of friendly and respectful treatment, bade him sit down and read to them out of the book he had brought with him. Jeremiah 36:16. But when they heard all the words read, "they were afraid one at another;" i.e., by looks, gestures, and words, they gave mutual expression of their fear, partly because of the contents of what had been read. Although they were generally acquainted with the sense and the spirit of Jeremiah's addresses, yet what had now been read made a powerful impression on them; for Baruch plainly had read, both to the people in the temple and to the princes, not the whole book, but only the main portions, containing the sternest denunciations of sin and the strongest threats of punishment. The statement, "he read in (out of) the book the words of Jeremiah" (Jeremiah 36:10), does not mean that he read the whole book; this would only have wearied the people and weakened the impression made. But they were partly also terrified, perhaps, by the boldness of a declaration which so decidedly opposed the desires and hopes of the king; for the thought of the event mentioned in Jeremiah 26:20. would at once suggest to them the danger that might arise to the live of Jeremiah and Baruch from the despotic character of the king. They said therefore to Baruch, "We must tell the king all these things." For it was clear that the matter could not long remain concealed from the king, after the public reading in the temple. Hence they dared not, agreeably to their official relation to the king, hide from him what had taken place.
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